I don’t think it’s possible to win with a guy like Escobar in the middle of the infield. He’s not a winner. I would love to see him shipped off over the winter. I agree with Steve that trading him during the season would smell of desperation and reduce his value.
Agree with Steve 110% on Smoltz opinion. Happy happy happy that maybe one dumb thing the front office did doesn’t seem quite so dumb after all…if only for a moment. I’ll keep a side “Front Office Smoltz Redemption Tracker” for myself. Also agree with Chris — Escobar through the full season, please. Then do as you will and see who else might be willing to bite.
I followed the Smoltz game on the radio. His fastballs were getting creamed. The outs were screaming line drives. He was lucky to escape with only 5 ER’s. He was getting outs in the later innings with his slider. That’s in keeping with the minor league scouting on him: the only above average pitch he has left is the slider. The man knows how to pitch and has the heart of a lion, so with four pitches, he may be able to make it as a 4th starter. If we start hearing that he’s employing his 5th pitch (the knuckler) though, then he’s desperate and done. Anyway, a bad club was hitting him hard. Let’s see what the Yankees do.
I’ll be glad to see Wren redeemed on this one. He’s not supposed to put together an old timer’s team.
A couple of things. I think Esco can and should be an integral part of this team going forward. He’s great in the field, most of the time, he’s one of our best hitters and he’s dirt cheap. My reasoning for saying let’s trade him is that I think Bobby will be here for 1 or 2 more seasons and that will lead to a further poisoning of Escobar’s attitude and stature on the team. Bobby doesn’t like him. It never ends well when Bobby doesn’t like you. And I think, despite the stench of desperation, we’d get a bunch for Esco tomorrow. All of that said, Esco ain’t going anywhere. And with Smoltz. It’s the same damn thing as with Glavine. Good baseball decision – BADLY, BADLY, BADLY executed. Smoltz, I believe, will be average this year. And the scouting reports were clearly right on Glavine. If they weren’t he’d be pitching somewhere. I believe that Glavine was so pissed he’d have accepted an offer almost anywhere to show the Braves were wrong. But his phone clearly did not ring. But all the baseball stuff is besides the point with Smoltz and Glavine. The front office handled two legends with no consideration for their stature at all. I’m not even talking about “respecting” them. I’m talking about handling them in a way where their long term relationship with the team would be unaffected. Wren screwed that up with both about 10 different ways.
Steve, with Smoltz, I don’t know how it could have gone well. Smoltz went to Boston because of the guaranteed money and the chance for the WS. There’s nothing wrong with that. Wren could have been calling Smoltz every week over the winter and fawning all over him, but Smoltz was going anyway. He wants to win. But Smoltz wasn’t going to leave town without turning it into a Smoltzie victimization drama. How else could he explain to his church friends in Alpharetta that he was going? The man has a major chip on his shoulder. It makes him a jerk of human being and also made him a great pitcher.
I agree with Glavine. Ironically, Schuerholz wrote a book a few years back in which he emphasized the importance of being clear with employees about expectations. Wren should read it.
Anyway, great athletes usually don’t go gently into the good night. I’m sure Kid Nichols had a bad ending, too; but the organization seems to have survived that one.
Don’t get me wrong my favorite player is Chipper Jones but when do the braves
realize they need a new franchise player. Is hanson it? Because who else is it gonna
be. I know Chip just signed a new contract last year but do you trade him or wait for
him to retire? With the addition of Hanson and Nate this team can turn around with
another big name in the line up. I believe Chipper can make an impact with a team
in contention this year and maybe Braves can get someone to rebuild around.
Chris in Boston: I agree with you to a point on Smoltz. He was likely out of here, short of a 5MM offer from the Braves. But, I think that Wren could have done more fawning and communicating. CYA, baby. The Braves should have known it was going to end how it did, because they should have had an idea heading into the off-season what they would pay him and they should have known it wasn’t going to be enough. With that in mind, you stay very communicative (to your point about the Schuerholz book) so that when the end comes, there way less for Smoltz, the primadonna, to complain about.
JFranco: Hanson, maybe. McCann, definitely. McCann is now your heir apparent, in my opinion.
Curt: Yeah. Not exactly heady days right now. Not until the sweep of the Phillies that is!
Thanks for the shout out for my dog Tucker–she was a true friend and was with me for eighteen years–she will be missed; that said, Bobby has been with us for at least that long and I’ve been considering having him put down. Am I wrong? Good points about Yunel although I am angry with him for being such a petulant child. The Yankees series and the insertion of Bennett at a crucial moment were, in my opinion, the beginning of the end of this season’s hopes. It’s time to start celebrating the young core of Hanson, Mclouth, McCann and even Medlin and to watch their evolution–or, for those who don’t believe in evolution; the advancement of their intelligent design. Go Braves!
Bub – great, great ballgame indeed. It seems so long since we’d gotten any hits in a ballgame. What a joy to watch the team when it actually generates some offense. 13 hits! Obscene! I used red and blue thumbtacks to put my Martin Prado poster up on my wall.
Anne – great base running by your boy Matty in the 10th. Helped win the game.
Did anyone see if Garrett Anderson was in the group of players that mobbed Prado after the game winner? I looked hard for him and could not see him. He wouldn’t actually just walk into the clubhouse while the celebration is happening on the field, would he?
Like I said last week…timely hits leading to timely runs…leading to consecutive wins. Didn’t I also ask why Prado doesn’t atleast platoon with KJ? I don’t care what Kelly did last Sept. Great win. Dare I hope for a streak to rival the season’s best…3 wins?
Yup – that’s GA. He is just too slow to have made it to Prado in time. I think he just had a poor read on where Prado was headed and then, fearing hurting himself, short-armed him right at the last minute.
Let me just jinx us now, but if we win two more, we are 2 back from the Phillies. The Mets are sucking wind, and the Marlins are almost as inconsistent as we are.
Agreed – that is definitely GA. Nice work, Mr. Zapruder. And yeah Hammy – I’m letting my mind play all those games, too. Hamels has not been Superman this season. Let’s win tonight. C’mon, let’s win tonight!
I think ABT followers have a sense of humor and tend to be very tolerant of the other opinions expressed on the board. Frankly I don’t find that comment offensive…Back and to the left is part of the common culture and GA is black. It was funny….perhaps a bit edgy sure…but funny. I vote ok.
Curt: texting is disallowed in the clubhouse, but Matty just texted me all secret-like saying he doesn’t care the amount of fine he gets served. He wants to know which of us loves him more. I still think it’s me.
Joe Simpson brought me back down to earth just now and reminded all of us that Martin Prado has been pretty darned great, too. Agreed.
Jurrjens getting run support is glorious in and of itself.
I am SO STOKED I have tickets to tomorrow night’s game. Go Braves!
Prefaced by: what the heck do I know about baseball…I’ll see if I can give a thoughtful pass at answering you, Curt. Wow, Diaz instead of Francoeur in RF. Interesting. …and here I was, thinking they’d give up the platoon theory of LF, send G.A. to the glue factory and let a stud play. …but they probably paid too much for G.A. and he’s a veteran and why lose face with that. It’s not like G.A. doesn’t hit, he certanly does. He just can’t or won’t hustle, and that ain’t cool.
Meanwhile, who’s up for trade and/or is a more valuable trade? That goes back to the buzz: would they ever let hometown Francoeur go?
If you had to trade an outfielder, would you get more bang for your buck with Diaz or Francoeur? I do NOT, repeat, do NOT want Diaz going anywhere, but if you were him, which would you want: a place that plays you every day (or mostly every day) for probably more pay…or a place where you can pal around in the dugout, clutch-out every now and again and be all heroic, hover around .300 have adoring, giggly fans like me? What is he, 31 or so? It’s a pretty nice life for Matty D. here. I have no idea what his contract looks like nor how happy he is, but I hope he is. I think he (and the team?!?) would be happier if he played every day, or at least more often.
That was a lot of digression. So, what’s it gonna take?? Me changing careers and becoming his agent? Doubtful.
Wow – I go away for a few hours and missed ALOT. The back and forth on Bub’s “edgy” comments was priceless. And damn funny too.
What a great, a great game. And a freaking no hitter into the 7th for God’s sake. My wife just laughs and rolls her eyes every time I give her the whole, “this could be the turning point of the season” speech. But I really, really, really mean it this time. There was no good (or logical or sane) reason to think anything was actually going to change for this team from an offensive standpoint this past month, but … maybe the promotion of Prado is something tangible to point to. 27 freaking hits in two games. Heaven. Now sweep these mofo’s and take care of business in D.C.
Anne – this may be crazy, but I think that Frenchy still gets you more in a trade (and yes, I think the Braves would/will trade him if the offer is half way decent), because there are great heights to point to in Frenchy’s career. And the possibility that he reaches them again with a change of scenery. Matty is what he is. A not quite good enough to be an everyday starter, streaky, softball team hacking, average fielding, sometimes really good bench player. Not to mention devoted admirer of yours.
Wow what a game tonight. When was the last time the braves dominated a game like that. A sweep would be nice and to play a very horrible team like the nats next could be the win streak they need to end the first half and make a run for the playoffs against what looks like a weak division
If the Braves play down to the Nats and lose after a game like tonight I will shave my head and become a nun so I won’t have access the TV or Computer and therefore will have to give up this addiction. Bub, I thought your comment was very funny as always and I’m a pastor’s wife. Anne, tell Matty I said hi. Any news on Infante?
Wasn’t it a Philly series about this time last year when our fate was sealed by Kelly’s Game One drop? How ironic would it be if our season was saved by Kelly’s replacement in this year’s version of that series?
I honestly don’t think Prado will have a better career than KJ. But right now, we need to ride that bat of his for as long as it’ll spew hits. Like, as in, for the rest of 2009 if need be.
I dunno guys… about the sweep… my spidey senses are tingling to the negatory. That big inning trouble Javy runs into sometimes… Philly is so built for big innings, too. My prediction: 6-2 Phils. Sorry.
I would go absolutely nuts if we swept them, though. It would be a statement that said “we’re not just threatening to turn it around, we’re doing it right now.” And I don’t mean a statement to us… but a statement to themselves. And they’re the ones that need to hear it.
However… that Philly line-up…. and Happ’s pretty good…. and Javy’s due for a little trouble. My goal is to win this series and the Nats series (yes, 2 of 3… baby steps) and I want to keep that in front of me.
No, let’s SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m conflicted, you see. *puts on “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac and tries to dance the MC Hammer to it. Knocks over coffee…*
Congrats on the article, Curt. Your inner cynic must have been punching your psyche pretty hard there.
In spite of my bad feeling, I’ve hauled both kitchen brooms into the computer room. This is the most I’ve been into a series in a while. I don’t have any turkey underwear, but maybe I’ll rub some cold cuts on my butt.
This was no cheapie folks. The “what if” game we foolishly, baselessly started to play Sunday night is coming to fruition. And how about Bobby tonight? Managing it like he actually wanted to win. JJ to pinch run. GA pinch hitting for Frenchy (LOVED THAT!) And, Anne – Diaz was the MVP tonight. Great double in the 8th to get it started. Great steal of 3rd. Let’s just take 2 of 3 in D.C. so this can actually mean something. Getting very, very excited.
SWEEP BABY!!!! Great game…that play that got Werth out at home is what saved us. That coupled w/ Diaz’s game winning RBI double…man that was awesome. Very well managed game too!! Let’s turn our record around against the Nats, and get into series contention in the division!!!!
If Kelly can finally be pulled, can’t Frenchy? Not sure why that move is not in the offing. Even with Frenchy batting .270 or something on this homestand.
Man that was a fun game.
And Bud, yes the irony of me writing a fluff piece was priceless. Particularly after I killed them right after my visit. I’m taking credit for Diaz. My grilling him about the offense clearly inspired him to carry the load.
Im not really saying anything that already hasn’t been said…but this was a great GREAT game. It reminded me of old-school Braves, that feeling of pride for the team, of being a winning team, where winning is your unalienable right. The strut Andersen had rounding the bases was almost Gantish or Jordanish..the way we BEAT the Phillies not just won these game put the BRAVES back in the Braves logo on the chest….I havent had this feeling in a while. FKKN a go BRAVES!
A lot of people talk about how Jeff F is slumping but that guy has got cannon in right field he holds guys to long singles and going from first to third. Going to the minors didn’t help him last year. Bobby needs to find a way to get his swing back. Maybe frenchy needs a little more time with TP.
Do you think he has any trade value? I like Kotch but that was a lopsided trade for big Tex. Abreu only signed a one year deal get him for the rest of the year to make a push for the playoffs
I would rather have Matt Holliday. He too has a one year deal. Plus the A’s arent contenders (10 back) as opposed to the Angels who are in 1st. Plus Holliday is a better fielder.
On a side note I went Tuesday and Thursday night and it didn’t feel like a normal Braves crowd. Heck I had to wait 30 minutes in line just to get tix. People were fired up and why shouldn’t they be the way were playing ball. It felt like a bit like a real baseball crowd. I am getting shivers, I better stop typing.
Frenchy starting in RF. It takes a bit of the cathartic moment-ness out of it for me. Not to mention the Detwiler is a freakin’ lefty!!!!!! And still no Diaz in right. I guess it was crazy to think that the PH for Frenchy last night had any real meaning. But, c’mon! A lefty and still no Diaz. Bobby is unbelievable.
Another big question for tonight. Can big game KK bring his A game for the lowly Nats?
OK, OK – so Diaz did start (in LF). But I’m still wound up that Frenchy started tonight. Game #2 in a row with a PH for Frenchy in the late innings, however. I wonder how long that streak will continue? And a big resounding “No” to the question about KK being able to bring it for a non “big game” start.
Steve, it’s okay. Frenchy only stranded six runners tonight. *rolls eyes* Bobby’s deal with Frenchy is unmuthafrigginreal. It boggles the mind. Maybe he’ll punch a locker. (He’d pro’ly miss it and graze his elbow).
A good, not great game. I know we stranded a ton of runners, but we still batted 6 for 16 with RISP, believe it or not.
Five Straight, peoples! Tommy Hanson tomorrow. Be nice to get up about 7 to 1 and give Moylan/Gonzo/Sori the night off. *remembers who the manager is…* I meant 17 to 1.
Bub – I totally agree. A good game, but not great. On the other hand, we were down multiple times and kept coming back. Got a ton of hits. 8 freaking runs. That’s like 12 – 15 for teams with real offenses. The other thing is – we’re already getting spoiled by going a full work week with no losses. All these wins are great. 5 freaking games in a row. I’d forgotten how wonderful winning games was.
It’s bottom of the 8th and we’re down 4 – 1. If all is not forgiven, then where does this leave us? And I disagree. Saturday’s loss was bad. It wasn’t all tooth and nail and the best team won. We had it in the bag and gave it up because Bobby pitched Gonzo for the 4th time in 5 nights and 3 in a row. We gave it up and that hurts.
Good grief…what in God’s name is it with the freakin’ Nationals? One of the worst teams in the game today, & they have a winning record against us. This series against Washington has been nothing less than frustrating. I hope they can put it behind them and take the series in Chicago…